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Fanatic wins the Wellfield New Zealand Oaks

Fanatic (outside) - picture courtesy of  Race Images PNth
Fanatic (outside)

picture courtesy of Race Images PNth

The old idiom of 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' has worked wonders for a couple of mates and led both to Group One glory.

Fanatic (Shocking[AUS]- Komplete Klass) the winner of the Group One Wellfield New Zealand Oaks, is the first Group One winner bred by Sean Kiernan, and the first Group One winner for her sire Shocking.

Kiernan is the president of the Egmont Racing Club, a role he took on about the same time Shocking commenced stud duties at Rich Hill Stud. The Egmont Racing Club's sponsor for their prestigious Group Two fillies and mares race, the Taranaki Breeders' Stakes, is Rich Hill Stud so it seemed logical to him to send his newly acquired broodmare to that stud.

"I liked the fact that he was a Melbourne Cup winner and I wanted to breed a stayer, but by the same token I wanted to support the people who support us, that's very important when you are involved with a racing club to do that," added the Taranaki dairy farmer.

"Besides, the mating looked good on paper and had the nod of approval from my advisor Gordon Cunningham and the rest as they say, is history."

Fanatic may have won the race in the inquiry room after a nose separated her from the hot favourite Sofia Rose. From the turn Sofia Rose lay out, then continued to lay out under pressure throughout the final straight, and near the 50 metres, when under a hard ride, shifted ground out abruptly making contact with Fanatic who then became unbalanced, and was awarded the race.

"She is an out and out stayer with an electric turn of foot, who knows how to run straight," said Kiernan proudly.

"She may have only won one race before the Oaks but she didn't get a track to suit her in the Sir Tristram Classic or the Lowland Stakes, but the track at Trentham was just perfect."

Fanatic is trained for Kiernan by Graeme Sanders and Debbie Sweeney at Te Awamutu. Over the last 20 odd years he has always had a horse in work with his mate GK, and was delighted that this was also his first New Zealand Oaks winner.

"My father was involved in racing in the CD, he bred and raced a lot of horses. So I had a family interest. It's a great industry to be involved in, the best people are involved in I"t.

"I have been on the committee at Egmont for about 18 or 20 years and have spent the last couple as president. It's a great club we are the number one country club in the country," he boasted.

"We have the best committee in New Zealand they don't know the meaning of the word no. They are a loyal bunch and I am proud to be associated with them."

Fanatic is the fifth foal of the Groom Dancer (USA) mare Komplete Klass, a winner of two races and a half-sister to the stakes placed Komplete Kaos dam of the Group One performer Rockdale. They are out of the Great Charmer (USA) mare Kappadios the dam of nine winners from 11 foals.

"Gordon Cunningham sourced the mare from Raffles farm. He heard she was for sale and intercepted her in Sydney on her way to the Magic Millions Sale. She was in foal to Keeper and that foal Keep The Klass was bought by John Foote for Darren Weir and has won a race.

"I had aspirations that I might be able to breed something, instead of trying to buy all the time. Like everyone I intended to sell the colts and keep the fillies, and the taxation benefits were a help. You can't milk cows every day, you have to have an outside interest".

"I only have one mare, the Fonterra payout isn't very good at the moment so I can only afford one. I raced a mare called Elemosa (Al Akbar – Tersane) from GK's stable, she won a race and I bred a couple of winners out of her including Bouvier by Perfectly Ready(AUS). She won four races for me and holds the track record at Rotorua for 1950m".

"After Fanatic, Komplete Klass missed and now I have a lovely Pour Moi yearling filly who is at Cunningham's Curraghmore Stud where the mare resides. Gordon is the man, he has a gift, he can see things in a horse and a pedigree that others can't. He has turned this pedigree from a Festival pedigree to a Premier pedigree.

"She didn't hold to Pentire(GB) this year either so it's 50/50 whether she will be bred again, but with two well-bred fillies I have still got the bloodlines," he enthused "and that win in the Oaks has helped the pedigree and eclipsed the Fonterra payout."

- Michelle Saba


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